In the United States, over one-third of all adults are obese. While being overweight can be an aesthetic concern that affects things like your self-confidence, it also can cause a multitude of serious related health problems if left untreated.
Weight loss surgery can be life-changing if you are an ideal candidate for it. However, getting weight loss surgery is also a major decision, and like many medical procedures, it can involve risks and complications. You need to meet certain medical guidelines to qualify for bariatric surgery, and a detailed screening process will help determine if you do.
Weight loss surgery may be a good option for you if you have struggled with losing weight using traditional means such as diet, exercise, medication, and behavioral therapy.
How Does Being Overweight Affect My Overall Health?
Excessive weight is not an isolated issue. Rather, it affects your overall health in many profound ways. For example, being significantly overweight can cause or worsen:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
- Lower back pain
This is only a partial list, and there are many other conditions which obesity can trigger or exacerbate. Addressing your obesity can, therefore, help you to address many different problems at once.
While people usually tend to think of weight loss surgery as something that is only for the morbidly obese, you may be surprised to find that you could potentially be eligible if you are just 50 pounds or more overweight and suffer from weight-related conditions. It can be beneficial to address excessive weight early on before major health problems develop or worsen.
What are the Requirements for Weight Loss Surgery?
Your BMI is a numerical value that represents the ratio of your weight to your height. A BMI of 18-24.9 is normal, while a higher BMI value usually means you are overweight.
Medical research studies indicate that you may benefit from weight loss surgery if you have a body mass index (BMI) of between 35 and 39.9 and have obesity-related issues such as hypertension (high blood pressure), osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, or type 2 diabetes.
You may also be a candidate for weight loss surgery if you:
- Have a BMI of 40 or above
- Are 100 pounds or more overweight
- Have been unable to maintain a healthy body weight long-term
- Have a BMI of 35 or above with weight-related health conditions
If you are ready to tackle your excessive body weight, contact us to schedule a consultation.
Does a High BMI Mean I Am Overweight?
If you are a bodybuilder, you may have a higher BMI because muscle weighs more than fat by volume, which results in a higher BMI while not being overweight. A BMI of between 25 and 27 is healthy if you are elderly, rather than the usual healthy BMI of below 25. Having this slightly higher BMI can help protect you from osteoporosis if you are over age 65.
Can Children Get Weight Loss Surgery?
An overwhelming number of children are obese, and that is a major health concern. However, you should not use an adult BMI calculator to determine if a child is overweight. Instead, talk to your pediatrician about your child’s health to determine a healthy weight range for their age. Children are also not a candidate for weight loss surgery due to their age. If your child is overweight, consider addressing their weight in other ways, such as helping them eat a healthier diet and get more frequent exercise.
Is BMI the Only Indicator of Overall Health?
While your BMI by itself cannot determine your health risk, most experts agree that any BMI over 30 is not healthy. In determining your overall health, doctors may also look at other factors, like your waist circumference and ratio of your waist to hip circumferences.
Whatever your BMI, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and getting regular exercise can help reduce your risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Additionally, other factors can influence your health, such as:
- Blood sugar levels
- Blood pressure
- Physical activity
- Cholesterol Levels
How Can I Be Sure If I Am a Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?
When you come in for a professional consultation, we will discuss your overall health with you and help you determine if you are a good candidate for bariatric surgery. A typical weight loss surgery screening involves a team of professionals such as a dietitian, psychologist, and surgeon, who will evaluate whether bariatric surgery is appropriate for you. They will determine if the benefits in your specific case justify the risks and if you are medically and mentally ready for the procedure.
If you are an ideal candidate, weight loss surgery could be life-changing and help you make major progress in losing weight while improving your health in the process. Would you like a consultation? If so, contact our office today!